American Samoa ferry idle after engineer departs territory

Pago Pago Harbour, American Samoa Photo: AFP / Michael Runkel / Robert Harding Premium

The American Samoa government vessel the Manu’atele is idle again because it doesn’t have a licensed engineer.

The US engineer who was one of the original crew members that brought the Manu’atele from Washington state where it was built , has left the territory.

According to Deputy Port Director Christopher King the engineer wanted to return home and Port Administration hasn’t had any luck recruiting a replacement.

He said US-based engineers want stateside salaries and the port hasn’t been able to match their wishes.

The port authorities were hoping a US licensed engineer who lives in the territory but who has worked primarily on purse seiners could assist.

However according to the US Coast Guard his license was for purse seiners only and he needed to get a license specifically for transportation.

Earlier in September the Manu’atele stopped operating because it needed a new bow thruster which is used to reverse or turn the vessel.

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